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Tue 5 Jan 2010 07:27 AM

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Burj renaming 'reflects unity of the UAE' - officials

Senior figures give their reaction to the change of name for the world's tallest tower.

Senior Dubai officials have said the changing of the name of the world's tallest tower to Burj Khalifa reflected the unity of the UAE federation.

Dubai renamed the 200-storey building, previous known as the Burj Dubai, in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi - an announcement made at a spectacular opening ceremony on Monday night.

“Sheikh Khalifa is one of the UAE’s symbols,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee and an uncle of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The decision to change the name, made by Sheikh Mohammed, reflected the unity of the federation, he said in an interview after the opening ceremony, which featured fireworks and parachutists descending from the top of the tower.

“There is no doubt that the success of the UAE is the direct result of Sheikh Khalifa’s vision,” said Dubai billionaire Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair, owner of Mashreqbank.

“He is the one credited for the civil and economic progress and Sheikh Mohammed renamed the Burj as acknowledgment.”

Sheikh Mohammed appeared at the opening on big screens erected around the Burj area, where thousands of Dubai residents had gathered to watch the spectacle.

The new name is “very appropriate", said Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, UAE minister of higher education and scientific research and a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.

“Who else should it be named after except the president of the UAE?”

Construction of Burj Khalifa began in 2004 by Emaar Properties, which is 30 percent owned by the Dubai government.

Emaar, the biggest developer in the Middle East and Africa by assets, aimed to make the area surrounding the Burj the city’s new centre, benefiting from the development’s proximity to the Dubai International Financial Centre.

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Fathi 10 years ago

Very good night, was a great show for all. Little dissapointed at the renaming to be honest, i think the reasons behind the naming are clear so i guess Dubai had "no choice" Great acheivement non the less.

Annabel 10 years ago

What I find odd is that if this is a treu show of 'unity'...where was Sheikh Khalifa...wasn't it strange that he wasn't there to acknowledge this naming honour.....???

Noa 10 years ago

It was good, until they renamed it so am disappointed.

Vikram Singh 10 years ago

I think the people of UAE could have made it better example of " UNITY" by keeping the Name as Burj Dubai only. No better time to show Unity in support of Dubai during downturn. Anyways Good Job Done by All.

spursgirl 10 years ago

I bet people will still call it Burj Dubai anyway. Oh yes - and by the way has anyone told the gift shop yet as all the merchandise that I saw there yesterday had Burj Dubai on it!!!

TFS 10 years ago

First of all 'Congrats' on the opening of Burj 'Khalifa'. There were better ways to show the unity between the different emirates in the UAE..probably by still keeping the old name, or maybe naming it as 'Unity Tower' or even 'UAE Tower'.

Jon 10 years ago

Great display for Dubai and thankfully, some positive international press. Given that the building has been called Burj Dubai for the last 6 years, it will probably take an equal length of time for people to get used to it's new name; and who knows how much Dubai's fortunes would have picked up again in the next 6 years..

jaan 10 years ago

BURJ DUBAI is much better name..or for unity's sake, yes, why not change it to BURJ UAE? atleast, it refers to the 7 emirates..

santhosh 10 years ago

Congrajulations to the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohamed. A Visionary beyond compare. Compare his dynamism and charisma with any other leader in this part of the world. There is a stark difference. Leaders in the developing countries especially India need to learn from this great man. A man who truly loves his country and wants to make it the greatest in the world. A true example to every one who aspires to be big.

M.Martinez 10 years ago

Congratulations to everyone in the UAE. To Sheikh Maktoum, history is in your hands even though this marvel has been renamed. I think it is just right to rename it after the ruler of the country. Besides, we have to be open to the idea that Dubai is not a country, contrary to what many people first think of the place DUBAI when you mentioned UAE or Middle East (Of course other than Iraq and Iran). The Burj doesn't only represent Dubai but the entire UAE and what better name to give it to than after the President. Same thing goes to Sheikh Zayed Mosque, third biggest mosque in the world, and Mina Zayed. Burj Zayed or Zayed Tower would have been a cool name in honor of the the late great Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Otherwise, it is one way of these Sheikh's leaving their legacy, it isn't on the name, it is the way they are remembered.